Warning: Soapbox... not tech tools
The other day I saw a post from Edutopia featuring many different resources for the “growth mindset”. I watched the RSA animation below and found that although I believe in some of this, much of it seems to be yet another recycled idea and is now more of a meme or fad. I actually remember back when Carol Dweck’s book came out and even have a copy on my kindle. If you have been in education for a while, you have probably seen many of the same ideas come and go and get re-branded with different names and various fancy doo-dads to liven them up some.
Back in 2008 I had the opportunity to spend a day at a workshop with Alfie Kohn. If you have never read his stuff, basically he is a proponent of progressive education, who likes to challenge established ideas. He seems to enjoy taking the alternate view, but can always back up his viewpoints with literature and research. Anyway…Alfie wrote a book that I had read called Punished by Rewards. which is another viewpoint that I kind of agree with. Recently he wrote about mindset for Salon and came up with this quote that I liked, “… the challenge for a teacher, parent, or manager is to consider a moratorium on offering verbal doggie biscuits, period.”
Are these two well respected educators and researchers coming up with totally different answers to the question of praise, rewards, mindset? I started looking around the web and as usual, one can find points of view on both sides. A friend of mine, Jackie Gerstein, wrote a blog post about this a while back and stated:
"The faddish or pop culture version of the growth mindset is emerging as: “Have a Growth Mindset.” This smacks of the “Just So No” campaign of the Reagan era. Catch phrases about a growth mindset will have as much effect on actually developing a growth mindset as just saying no did on curbing drug use."
Here is a piktochart that Jackie produced as a means for personal reflection for her students. Her take on the “growth mindset” seems to be that this is an ongoing, reflective process- not a one-time pep talk followed by a lovely classroom poster.
Carol Dweck herself has now a new article on Edutopia which seems to be attempting to clarify what educators should/shouldn't be doing around growth mindset.
"false growth mindset. This is when educators think and do all sorts of things that they simply call growth mindset."
I also noticed this article from PRI with the scary title of Is the notion of 'innate genius' widening science's gender gap?
What do you think? Is this a fad? Should we look at this as another version of Gladwell's 10, 000 hour rule? Will this go the way of "learning styles"? Do you believe in the growth mindset or is this just a new version of The Little Engine That Could? If you believe in the growth mindset, how is this reflected in your practice?